January 31, 2003

Positive Developments with RSPBA at ANAPBA Summit

Atlanta, Georgia – January 11, 2003 – Sources have informed Piper & Drummer Online that the first full day of the 2003 Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations (ANAPBA) had a decidedly positive tone, with lengthy, open discussions with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s (RSPBA) executive office, Ian Embelton, taking centre stage.

Among the topics in the dialogue were the potential of making an official North American qualifier – or even qualifiers – for the Grade 1 final at the World Pipe Band Championships. It is thought that Embelton welcomed the concept, but stressed that his role with the RSPBA is only administrative. His organization is controlled by the elected National Council, which makes all official policy and rule recommendations and decisions on behalf of its constituent members.

Since the World’s started the current competing structure for the Grade 1 contest at the World’s, there has been debate on whether a contest should be designated as a qualifying event to allow the winning band to receive a bye to the final. The competition most often cited is the North American Championship at Maxville, Ontario, by far the most important pipe band event on the continent.

Also reportedly announced at the summit was an “International Pipe Band Associations Conference” to be held in Glasgow the day after the 2003 World Championship. The event will purportedly be a forum for all sister associations of the RSPBA to discuss current issues and ways to better work together.

North American RSPBA Music Board Reps?

Another topic allegedly put forward at the ANAPBA Summit was the potential for North American representatives to be formally placed on the RSPBA’s Music Board, the sub-committee that makes musical and competitive policy recommendations. Again, Embelton reportedly stated that he could only take the proposal back to his association’s National Council for consideration.

Reported highlights of non-RSPBA related discussions covered diverse issues, including discussing the goal of consolidating continental judging standards, especially in the area of “B Level” judges across jurisdictions. It was also reportedly agreed that the qualifications for “A Level” judges should reflect the high requirements established already by the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario and the RSPBA, the organizations clearly with the most advanced criteria and largest pools of talent.


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